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11.28.2014

20 Fabulous Christmas Decor Ideas: Pinterest Round-Up

 
Thanksgiving is barely over, and I already have Christmas décor ideas on the brain - big time.  I have been collecting some inspiration on Pinterest (click here to follow Fab Everyday on Pinterest), and today I am sharing my 20 favorite chic holiday décor idea pins.
 
1. DIY Christmas Ornament Wreath
 



 
This one I attempted myself last year, and loved the result! This pretty ornament wreath cost me less than $10 to make with supplies from the dollar store:
 
 
2. Christmas Ornament Napkin Ring
 



 
So simple, yet chic.
 
3. Mixed Metallic
 



 
4. DIY Glitter Tree
 


 
This tutorial could help you complete the look above on a budget.
 
5. Black and White Christmas Tree Decorations
 


 
6. DIY Modern Minimalist Nutcracker
 


 
Simple idea for a fabulous West Elm décor hack.
 
7. Fir Champagne Flute Centerpieces
 


 
8. Black, White, Gray and Gold Décor
 


 
9. Modern Mantel
 


 
10. Wreath Chair Decorations
 


 
11. Ornament Centerpiece
 


 
Simple but stunning.
 
12. Ornament Chandelier
 


 
13. Inexpensive Jingle Bell Centerpiece
 


 
14. Glam Mixed Metallic Display
 


 
15. Peace Mantel
 


 
16. Glitter Reindeer Picture
 


 
17. White and Mixed Metallic Mantel
 


 
This fabulous look from Centsational Girl is inspiring my own holiday mantel this year.
 
18. Mini Stockings Silverware Holders
 


 
This is just too cute...
 
19. Glitter Christmas Lights
 


 
20. Rustic and White Christmas
 


 
There you have it!  Stay tuned next week for my round-up of my favorite holiday party food pins, and don't forget to follow Fab Everyday on Pinterest!

11.18.2014

Fab Everyday Low-Stress Thanksgiving Menu and Shopping List


Fab Everyday is all about finding the right kind of balance in your life in order to live fabulously.  People often ask how I "do it all," or refer to me as a "super mom."  The reality is that I don't do it all.  My secret to being able to incorporate fabulous into my everyday life is that I prioritize the things that are important to me, and am comfortable letting go of the rest.  What I may need to feel fabulous may be different for someone else.  I encourage my readers and friends to identify what it is they would really love - what would give them joy in their everyday life - and to make it happen.  It could be by DIY'ing, finding a good deal, or giving up one thing in order to have the time, energy, or funds for the thing you really do want.

I am leading with all of this in today's blog post because the same prioritization is important when hosting a big meal, like Thanksgiving.  When hosting Thanksgiving, it is easy to get overwhelmed due to the pressure to do it all perfectly, a la Martha Stewart.  However, it is still possible to have a fabulous, stunning meal with less stress.  Like I said above, it is all about priorities, and fabulous can be attainable.  A big way to make things easier on yourself for Thanksgiving is to think about what you really want to make from scratch vs. what can be purchased store-made.  We don't need to "slave away" to have a great meal.

That being said, here is my Thanksgiving menu for this year for your inspiration.  I have also included a shopping list.  You can see exactly where I am choosing to put my effort, as well as the areas I am OK with going the easy route.  And you know what?  My family and guests will love it, despite not making everything from scratch.  Feel free to customize this based on your own favorite recipes and components that are important for you to make from scratch.

All of these recipes I have made before and can vouch for.  Click the links to get the recipes.

Fab Everyday Thanksgiving Menu

* Can be cooked in advance
(P) Can be prepped in advance

Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping List
  • Meat
    • Whole roasting turkey
    • Bacon
  • Produce
    • Onions (5)
    • Leeks (2)
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Fresh thyme
    • Parsley
    • Red bell pepper
    • Button mushrooms (1 lb.)
    • Green beans (1.5 lbs.)
    • Shallots (4)
    • Potatoes (5 lbs.)
    • Green onions
    • Garlic
    • Spinach
  • Dairy
    • Unsalted butter (3 sticks)
    • Butter (3 sticks)
    • Whipped cream
    • Milk
    • Parmesan cheese (1 c.)
    • Cream cheese (2- 8 oz. pkgs.)
    • Half and half
    • Smoked gouda (2 oz.)
    • Eggs
    • Shredded American or cheddar cheese (2 c.)
    • Crumbled feta cheese (8 oz.)
  • Baking/Cooking
    • Course salt (3 c.)
    • Sugar (8 c.)
    • Bay leaves
    • Cheese cloth
    • Brown sugar (or Truvia Brown Sugar Blend if you are cutting calories)
    • Mini marshmallows
    • Vegetable oil
    • Baking mix
    • Vanilla extract
    • Chopped pecans (3/4 c.)
    • Semi-sweet chocolate (3 oz.)
  • Canned/Other Dry
    • Dry white wine
    • Canned cranberry sauce
    • Jarred turkey gravy
    • Brown-and-serve bread rolls
    • Pumpkin pie
    • Bread crumbs
    • Can sweet potatoes (29 oz.)
    • Elbow macaroni
    • Boxed stuffing mix
    • Canned pumpkin (29 oz.)
    • Tortilla chips
    • Mayonnaise
    • Jarred pimentos (2 oz.)
    • Can chopped artichoke hearts

Note: this list does not include basic spices and seasonings that you probably already have on hand (i.e. salt, pepper, nutmeg, etc.).  

Tips for a Fabulous Thanksgiving (without the Stress)
  • Make-ahead or prep what you can in advance. There is a lot of cooking going on the morning of Thanksgiving, so bake desserts the days before and prep the casseroles in advance so all you need to do is pop them in the oven on Thanksgiving.
  • Be mindful of timing and temperature for things that need to cook in the oven.  Write down your menu items in a list along with oven temperature and cooking time.  I then like to organize my cooking order on Thanksgiving day by the oven temp for each recipe (start with those that need to bake on 350, then 375, etc.).  This saves time in between meals for pre-heating or cooling the oven to different temperatures.  Some things may also be able to cook at the same time.  Having multiple timers is helpful in this case.
  • Remember that the turkey takes a lot of time.  Like, days.  So be prepared.  If frozen, the turkey will need to defrost for several days. Per the recipe I use, it also needs to brine for 24 hours, following by sitting at room temp for two hours prior to several hours of roasting. 
Happy cooking, and here's wishing you a fabulous Thanksgiving!

11.14.2014

Friday Faves: Chanel Makeup (Inimitable Mascara and Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation)

Long ago I sang the praises of Chanel Inimitable Mascara.  Well, I am still in love with it.  How could I not be when it does this to my lashes (note the only difference in these photos is the mascara... I had even already curled my lashes in the first picture):

 
See that curling and lengthening?! Love it.
 
Well, now I have a new love: Chanel's Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation.


Photo source: NeimanMarcus.com

I discovered this a few months ago when I went into Neiman's to pick-up more mascara and some of my favorite Laura Mercier Eye Brow Gel.  I also happened to be out of my former go-to foundation, so I decided to ask the store's Chanel makeup gal what she recommended.  I like a lightweight foundation that has a natural look.  I have freckles, but don't want to hide them as it looks unnatural on me when I wear a heavy-coverage foundation. I like my foundation to appear natural while still evening out my skin-tone.  My gal (Kim), tested some of the Perfection Lumiere Velvet on me, and it was just what I was seeking.  Super natural, but leaves my skin looking soft and even-toned. It also has a bit of SPF, which is nice.  I also have had no issues with break-outs since I started using this 6 months ago, which is great considering I have sensitive skin and can sometimes have bad reactions to skin products.  I have found my new foundation!

On a side-note, I totally heart Neiman's.  It is the Tiffany's to my Holly Golightly.  I miss the shopping martini lunches on the 4th floor with my bestie at the Beverly Hills store!  Thank goodness I have a store here in Austin.

11.04.2014

Dessert Recipes for Your Leftover Halloween Candy

 
We kind of went overboard on candy for Halloween this year, which meant we ended up with leftovers.  Couple that with all the loot the kids brought home from trick-or-treating, and we have candy overload!  Since we are trying to be healthier, I need to get some of this out of my house ASAP.  Inspiration struck when I saw this article from the Huffington Post on Dessert Recipes to Make With Your Leftover Halloween Candy posted on Facebook.
 
I had so much extra candy, that I decided to try four of the recipes.  The plan was to use up a bunch of the candy, have a taste of each of the desserts, then take the rest to the office for my co-workers.  First, I had to turn a bunch of fun-sized candy into this:
 
 
I also decided to use Truvia Baking Blend and Brown Sugar Blend instead of the added white and brown sugars for each of these recipes.  At 75% less calories than regular sugar and brown sugar, I felt like I had to.  I would already be dealing with sugary, decadent desserts because of all the candy, so this way I could eliminate some of the guilt.
 
The first recipe I tried was the Rainbow M&M Cookies recipe from The Domestic Rebel.  I didn't have mini M&M's, so I just used regular size.  Here's a picture of the recipe in progress:
 
 
I have a secret to share: Do you ever feel like baking, or want a fresh cookie, but don't want to have 24 cookies dangerously tempting you for days?  I know I do.  The way I get around this is to roll the cookie dough into balls, place in a freezer bag and freeze.  I write the baking instructions on the outside of the bag, and when I want to make a few cookies, I pull a few out at a time and bake!  This is the same idea as those individual balls of pre-packaged cookie dough from the grocery store. 
 
 
After packing most of the cookie dough balls in the freezer, we baked a few to sample them.  We all loved them!  The dough was super buttery and good... similar to a sugar cookie in taste.
 
 
Next, I tried the Soft and Chewy Snickers Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from Averie Cooks.  My 4 year-old had fun helping me stir and mix the dough, as well as rolling the cookie dough balls.  He also didn't mind wearing one of my extra aprons (all my aprons are pretty girly).
 
 
We also froze most of these, but here is a pic of the ones we baked.  They were DELICIOUS!  Tasted kind of like a sugar cookie with Snickers and chocolate chips.
 
 
Next, my little helper and I made the Milky Way Brownies recipe from Crème de la Crumb.  You basically layer chopped Milky Ways between layers of brownie batter.
 
 
The caramel drizzle on top really pulls it all together.  YUM!
 
 
 
Finally, I tried the Twix Carmelitas recipe from Oh Sweet Basil.  Man oh man was this DECADENT! While there is a layer of Twix chunks inside, the whole thing is really like a giant Twix. You have layers of what can best be described as an oatmeal cookie surrounding a layer of Hershey's chocolate bars, melted caramel, and Twix.  So tasty, but also decadent enough that I could only handle a small piece.  My co-workers greatly appreciated the leftovers!
 
 
Check out this gooey, layered masterpiece.
  
 
There you have it!  Next year I might try some of the others.